With the rise in popularity of sailing blogs and vlogs around the word, more and more people are looking to sample this lifestyle for themselves. Some are looking to try the lifestyle out before taking the plunge and others are looking to get in on the action while yet others would simple like a peaceful sailing holiday with family or friends. Either way, chartering a sailing yacht provides this opportunity and is far more accessible than many people realize.
How to charter a sailing yacht
Chartering a sailing yacht these days is fairly easy with many charter companies offering a wide range of options, from the fully staffed 5 star treatment to bareboat charter. Flotilla holidays offer a nice medium in between where you are able to skipper your boat but move with a group, lead by a competent team on hand to provide support where needed.
By far and away the easiest way to charter a sailing yacht is to hire a crewed or captained charter boat. This can range from a yacht with a charter captain who will get you from A to B, all the way up to a 5 star crewed yacht complete with attendants to wait on you hand and foot.
Generally a captained charter will have a competent yacht master who will make sure the yacht is safely anchored and protected and who has a keen knowledge of the local sweet spots to swim, dive and anchor off for the night.
If you are on a schedule and want to maximize your time with the family and the water, then this is an ideal option as you don’t have to worry about route planning, safe anchorages and all the weight carried by the captain with regard to crew safety.
A bareboat charter carries more responsibility, however this option gives you the freedom of the sea making you captain of your boat… well for a week or two anyway. Most charter companies will expect some sort of skippers qualification, with an ICC (International Certificate of Competence) being the most widely accepted in Europe.
Whether you’re planning a week away with the family or an adventure trip abroad with friends, a flotilla holiday may be just what you’re looking for. Many chartering companies offer this type of chartering, which involves a group of boats following a series of predefined destinations. This approach can provide the freedom of captaining your boat with the added reassurance of an experienced team leading the trip and on hand if you need any help. Flotilla cruises usually include special events and activities (optional of course) which can include, for instance, beach events for the kids, family activities, or access to the best beach bars for the adults. You can also find special interest flotilla holidays such as those with a focus on food or wine and others which are exclusively for adults – in case you prefer a child free environment.
Flotilla holidays – How does it all work?
Usually each day the lead crew will brief you on the most important aspects of that days trip, such as the next destination, upcoming weather, any awesome spots to check out along the way etc. You are however free to explore the route yourself. So whether you fancy spending some time at sea and getting “on the lean” or whether you are looking for an awesome protected little cove to snorkel or sunbath, when you’re on your way you can do exactly what you want. What is nice to know, is that you will have the safety of the flotilla team at the next harbor to help with docking and that everyday there will be a team meeting to discuss your next journey.